Like some of you, I have a dislike for forced holidays, and do not celebrate this holiday that some say was created by corporations (my personal joke, the Greeting Card Industrial Complex?) However, many do celebrate this day of love, with their romantic partner.   For those rebelling against the masses, and those who want to do something different for the holiday, I have some advice. Challenge yourself to find a way to express love and kindness to your partner, yourself, a friend and a neighbor – whoever you encounter, whoever is near. Find a new way of giving of yourself that you may not have done in a long time, if ever.   I'm remembering Valentine's Day in grade school. Covering old shoe boxes in tin foil, felt, glitter, glue, heart shapes and other kinds of trim. Stuffing inside little cards with names misspelled and silly sayings, sometimes to people we didn't care that much about. However, it still felt good to spread some love around, even if it wasn't romantic.   Perhaps you could buy a package of child's Valentine cards and place them in a series of mailboxes on your street. Don't write any names or addresses on the card or envelope. If the mailbox door or slot opens, let it slide inside. Allow some love to pass from you to a stranger as an act of kindness. You don't need a partner to give a Valentine to and no one is going to hunt you down as a stalker or predator.   Other acts of self-love include – doing for yourself what you feel like a partner would do – go out to dinner, buy flowers or candy or jewelry. (Please go to a local small business, avoid corporations that donate money to Rush Limbaugh like 1-800-Flowers). Get a massage, maybe take another single friend for a couple's massage – indulge and pamper yourself.   Spend time in deep meditation, concentrating on sending love to every inch of your body. Dim the lights, turn off all distraction devices (TV, computer, cellphone, iPad, etc). Focusing on the breath, visualize your body in a pink bubble, totally surrounded in loving protection. Touch every inch of your body and provide an affirmation of love everywhere you touch. Be grateful, be joyous, relieve pain, hurt, judgment and sadness. If a negative thought creeps in, let it go and come back to how much love you are giving to yourself right now. Dance a silly dance, listing off all the things that you have in your life, rather than feeling self-pity for what you don't have.   If you have a partner, take time to deep eye gaze. Sit facing each other, hold hands and create intimacy by doing nothing but looking at each other. Try to do this without talking, laughing or smiling – nothing to distract each other from just the eyes. Creating connection through the eyes can bring you closer together, and make for a memorable experience. This doesn't require any money at all, but it does require enjoying your partner's presence.   I recently conducted a group workshop for couples. At the end of the workshop I asked couples to look into one another's eyes for a deep eye gazing exercise. Out of about 30 couples, most of them walked out of the room rather than do the exercise. It demonstrated to me how few couples are comfortable with intimacy, or at least displaying it in front of others. If this is a challenge for you, what is stopping you from going that far?   Make Valentine's the day that you fly a great distance with Cupid's Arrow. Is there something you refuse to do because it would require you doing it by yourself? Is there something your partner has wanted to do like karaoke, where you refuse to take part and sing? Take a chance, create romance and intimacy, be silly, fun. Most of all, have a full heart, appreciate yourself and all that you have. *Always Make Pleasure Your Goal* - Lady Monster     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *    *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *      If you have a question or a topic you would like to have covered in this column, please go to: and click on the link for the Google form. Or, call (614) 636-0936 and leave a message in my Google Voice Mail Box. Both options are 100% anonymous. Thank you.

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